Hailed as "prophetic" (Washington Post) "compellingly life-and-death" (New York Times) and, simply, "a brilliant book" (Kirkus), Wedge launched "no fewer than seven assorted congressional committees, internal evaluators, and blue-ribbon panels" (Wall Street Journal). It tells the story of the secret war America has waged against itself.
Based on scores of interviews with former spies and thousands of declassified documents, Wedge reveals and re-creates -- battle by battle, bungle by bungle -- the epic clash that has made America uniquely vulnerable to its enemies. For more than six decades, the opposed and overlapping missions of the FBI and CIA -- and the rival personalities of cops and spies -- have caused fistfights and turf tangles, breakdowns and cover-ups, public scandals and tragic deaths.
A grand panorama of dramatic episodes, peopled by picaresque secret agents from Ian Fleming to Oliver North, Wedge is both a journey and a warning. From Pearl Harbor, McCarthyism, and the plots to kill Castro through the JFK assassination, Watergate, and Iran Contra down to the Aldrich Ames affair, Robert Hanssen's treachery, and the hunt for Al Qaeda -- Wedge shows the price America has paid for its failure to resolve the conflict between law enforcement and intelligence.
The book has had a deep impact on the secret world it describes. After Maureen Dowd discussed Wedge, and the problem of FBI-CIA rivalry, in The New York Times, President George W. Bush announced an initiative to close what he termed the "seam" between FBI and CIA coverage of foreign threats, as Riebling recommended in Wedge. The Intelligence Division of the New York City Department of Police used Wedge as the blueprint after 9/11, when it became the first city-state since the Rennaissance to build its own spy service. And a top Russian intelligence defector cited has Wedge in a memo to Director of the CIA to explain the rise and rule of Vladimir Putin.
Gripping and authoritative -- and updated with an important new epilogue, carrying the action through to September 11, 2001 -- Wedge is the only book about the schism that has informed nearly every major blunder in American espionage.